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179 journalists appeared in court, 16 detained in Turkey in April-June period: report

Police officers arrest AFP photographer Bülent Kılıç while covering a Pride march in Istanbul that had been banned by authorities on June 26, 2021. Bülent Kılıç was detained by Turkish security forces on June 26, 2021 while covering a Pride march in Istanbul that had been banned by authorities, witnesses and press freedom campaigners said. AFP was in contact with Turkish authorities demanding the release of Bülent Kılıç, an award-winning photographer. Haco Biskin / Gazete Duvar / AFP

A total of 179 journalists appeared in court in 81 separate cases during the second quarter of this year, while 16 journalists were detained, according to the “Media Monitoring Report” published by the Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC), the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.

According to the report, 15 journalists have faced attacks and violence during April-June time period.

The report was prepared as part of the Media for Democracy/Democracy for Media Project, which was established by the association and funded by the European Union. It aims to strengthen the pluralist media and a free press as a safeguard for democracy in the country.

AFP photojournalist Bülent Kılıç was recently brutally detained while covering the İstanbul Pride March on June 26. His detention sparked outrage and condemnation from national and international journalist associations. Kılıç was included on the One Free Press Coalition’s “10 Most Urgent” list of press freedom cases in August.

The report said politicians and government officials continued targeting journalists in the second quarter.

Turkey was ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in April.

According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database, 173 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 167 are wanted and either in exile or at large.

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